The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) has criticised the City of Melbourne’s proposal to redesign the Hoddle Grid and further restrict freight access to key routes.
Under the Future Streets Framework proposal voted on last night, key freight routes in Melbourne CBD such as Flinders Street, Bourke Street and Spring Street would be closed to motorists.
Meanwhile, public transport users, bicycles and pedestrians would be prioritised for access.
VTA CEO, Peter Anderson, said the plan has a complete disregard for freight as well as small businesses and city traders relying on the transport industry.
“Before COVID, transport movement to and from the city for cyclists was four per cent of total trips with cars representing 20 per cent of total trips,” he said.
“Since COVID, bicycle trips remain at four per cent with cars now representing 43 per cent of all trips.
“Such inward looking, insular and isolationist perspectives are effectively telling 43 per cent of city commuters that ‘we do not want you in our city’.”
Anderson said the proposal is oblivious to the consequences that could arise.
“Over 5,000 commercial vehicles service the city every day including the garbage collectors, concrete trucks, delivery vans, rigid trucks and ancillary vehicles that need access, parking, and flexibility,” he said.
“These vehicles and their drivers work under tight timelines, growing congestion, and an expectation to live a normal life.
“The freight industry is the lifeblood for thousands of city businesses, commercial developments and public transport projects and its high time the City of Melbourne recognised the value of transport operators and their workers in upholding the vitality of our once great city.”